Young US stars Wallace Spearmon, Xavier Carter and Damu Cherry were the headliners of the 20th edition of the EAA Spitzenleichtathletik meeting in Luzern held in cool weather conditions after rain fell during the afternoon some hours before the start of the meeting.
Carter and Spearmon took convincing wins in the men’s 100 and the 200 metres respectively with 10.11 and 20.30. Cherry ran an impressive 12.62 in the women’s 100m Hurdles.
Joint 200 metres World season leader Wallace Spearmon, the World silver medallist in Helsinki and US champion in Indianapolis in June with 19.90, prevailed in the 200 metres in 20.30 over Jamaica’s Ainsley Waugh (20.44) and European Cup winner and European season leader Christian Malcolm of Great Britain (20.55).
Looking forward to Paris Golden League 400m
The Chicago-born Spearmon missed Rohsaan Griffin’s meeting record by one hundredth of a second in what was his first European outing of the season.
“It was a good race. I felt strong this evening. Spectators were very supportive. It was a good race in preparation for the 400 metres at the Paris Golden League on Saturday. This year I have two goals: running the 200 metres in 19.7 and the 400 metres in 44.0,” said Spearmon.
First professional win for Carter
Twenty-year-old “X-Man” Xavier Carter, four-time NCAA champion in the 100 and 400 metres and 4x100 and 4x400 metres relays, clinched his first win as a professional athlete in Europe with 10.11, just two hundredths of a second off his season best set in Sacramento last month. Ainsley Waugh finished runner-up again in 10.15.
“I felt good. I have no regret for my decision to focus on sprint rather than American Football. This year I want to get the best of my capabilities. I will now run the 200 metres in Lausanne and the 400 metres in Rome,” said Carter.
US sprint hurdles revelation Damu Cherry, US Championships runner-up in Indianapolis, ran a good 12.62 not far off her 12.58 season best run in the semi-finals at the US Nationals last month.
US 110 metres hurdler Robbie Hughes, fourth at the Indianapolis US Nationals, continued his good European tour notching up a narrow win over compatriot David Oliver (13.36 to 13.38).
A meeting record was broken by Commonwealth Games Pole Vault champion Kym Howe of Australia who cleared 4.45m in her first attempt. Dana Ellis of Canada secured second place with
4.35m ahead of World Junior record holder Silke Spiegelburg of Germany (4.30).
Mutola pulls out
Maria Mutola was forced to pull out during the 1500 metres race where she was looking to run a sub-4 minutes time. Ukraine’s Natlya Tobias took advantage by winning in 4:06.07.
Former World junior cross country medallist Dathan Ritzenheim of the USA was victorious in the men’s 5000 metres in 13:25.46. Little-known Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia edged out USA’s Blake Russell and Kim Smith with 8:51.16 thanks to a kick in the finishing straight. London marathon winner and Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor ran a test finishing fourth in 8:56.35.
World silver medallist Yoandri Betanzos leapt to a winning 16.99m in the men’s Triple Jump which was enough to defeat Brazilian star Jadel Gregorio by 3cm. Alexis Copello of Cuba finished third with 16.82m. Alexander Martinez met the Swiss qualifying standard for the European Championships in Gothenburg finishing seventh with 16.60m in his comeback competition after some injury problems.
Tahesia Harrigan of Ghana took a surprising win in the women’s 100 metres in 11.25 defeating USA’s Brianna Glenn by just three hundredths of a second.
Andrew Baddeley of Great Britain notched up a convincing win in a tactical 1500 metres race in 3:40.87 beating Narim Nasser of Qatar (3:41.35) and Johan Cronje of South Africa (3:41.45).
Other track events winners were South Africa’s Paul Gorries in the men’s 400 metres in 45.58, Derrick Williams in the men’s 400 metres Hurdles (48.94), USA’s Tiffany Ross in the women’s 400 metres Hurdles in 55.30.
Field events featured wins of Stefan Wenk of Germany in the men’s Javelin Throw (82.37), Martin Scott of Australia in the men’s Shot Put (19.70) and Nicole Forrester of Canada in the women’s High Jump (1.86).
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF